March 2nd 2016
Federal Republic of Nigeria,
Dear Mr President,
CONTINUOUS DETENTION OF AIR CHIEF MARSHAL A.S. BADEH
We will like to draw your attention sir to the fact that on the 1st day of February, 2016, Air Chief Marshal A. S. Badeh was invited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to appear in their office on the 3rdday of February, 2016 to provide some clarification on a case of fraud levied against him.
That Air Chief Marshal A. S. Badeh lead counsel Messrs J-K Gadzama LLP wrote a letter to the Commission dated the 2nd day of February, 2016, assuring them of his full cooperation and willingness to make himself available on the date stated on the letter and any other day that the commission may require his attendance at their office.
That he honoured the invitation at the scheduled time and date, in company of his legal representatives.
Upon meeting the officials of the Commission, Air Chief Marshal A. S. Badeh was informed that the Commission’s acting Chairman and all the investigators were in a meeting and could not attend to him and his team of lawyers and requested that he comes back by 5pm later that same day.
Air Chief Marshal A. S. Badeh returned to the Commission with his legal representatives at 5pm as agreed and again he was told by the Commission that they were not ready to attend to him. He was subsequently asked to return to the Commission on Monday the 8th day of February, 2016 for the interaction with their officers.
Being informed of this fact, Air Chief Marshal A. S. Badeh decided as a matter of courtesy to meet with the acting chairman at his office and inform him of his readiness to cooperate with any investigations, whereat the Acting chairman of the Commission assured him that the invitation was merely routine and he would be able to return to his retirement once the meeting was over.
On Monday the 8th day of February, 2016, Air Chief Marshal A. S. Badeh accompanied by his legal representatives honoured the Commission’s invitation and met with the investigator concerned.
Contrary to the Acting Chairman’s assurances that the visit was merely routine, the former CDS was interrogated for well over 9 hours and asked to write a statement which he did and was thereafter detained and all attempts to secure his release and reschedule another appointment was thwarted by the Commission.
Three days after Air Chief Marshal A. S. Badeh was detained, the Commission issued an internal memo dated the 10th day of February, 2016 and which said memo outlined the most onerous and unrealistic bail terms.
Upon receiving the said memo containing the bail conditions all effort was made to satisfy same by the family and friends of the former CDS but could not satisfy same due to its onerous and unreasonable terms whereupon his lawyers wrote a letter, dated the 11th day of February, 2016, to the Commission for a review of the bail conditions.
The Commission has refused, neglected and ignored the said appeal and has continued to detain Air Chief Marshal A. S. Badeh indefinitely.
We are not unmindful of the duty of the Commission to carry out its investigation but suffice it to say that such an investigation should not be a basis to continue detaining a citizen under investigation without being charged to court for any disclosed offence.
We wish to draw the Mr President’s attention to the health condition of Air Chief Marshal A. S. Badeh which the Commission has been informed of.
Air Chief Marshal A. S. Badeh is currently recovering from a recent surgery on his spinal cord and has a history of renal Lithiasis and Acute High Blood Pressure which cannot be effectively managed while in detention.
Considering Air Chief Marshal A. S. Badeh’s history of impeccable service to our great nation spanning over a period of 35 years vis-à-vis the last position held as the Chief of Defence Staff, he is not likely to tamper with the Commission’s investigation if any.
The former CDS’ was on the 17th day of February, 2016 whisked to Lagos and subjected to fresh interrogation by officials of the EFCC and wherein he was granted bail yet on onerous and unrealistic bail term.
On the 25th day of February, 2016, the EFCC took the former CDS to the Magistrate Court for an extension of his detention warrant for a further period of 30 days.